Ridley League: Saunders wins in style
PUBLISHED: 14:30 18 May 2018
Ridley League darts champion Martin Saunders hugged his men's singles trophy and said: "This is proof that you should never give up hope."
The Black Bull man came back at Chelmsford City FC to write his name in the league archives after Compasses’ Chris Cook was on the verge of victory in their semi-final as his rival struggled for a starting double.
Cook couldn’t hit a finish and Saunders, growing in confidence with every miss, stole an improbable victory.
Compasses’ Martin Compton reinforced his claim as title favourite in the other tie, chalking up a 14-dart leg (120 start, plus 180) after dropping the opener to Des Vickers (City FC).
But he was under the cosh in the final against Saunders, who opened with a 180 and 140 and ended the job in style.
Amanda Dodd regained the women’s crown, beating Jenny Kochan (Little Waltham SC) over three legs; she also took the Licensees’ Cup and partnered Chequers team-mate Graham Millbank to Mixed League play-off victory.
Waltham hogged the pairs with wins in the men’s (by Braintree’s Steve O’Neil and Tony Bamsey), mixed (Bamsey and Kerry Ketley) and women’s (Jenny and Louise Kochan).
Jenny Kochan also hit two maximums in a Guinness Fours defeat by Mick Cain’s Dog & Partridge side – a reversal of last season’s final result.
The Captains’ and Secretaries’ champions were both deposed as Mick Cain (Dog & Partridge) lost to Des Vickers over three legs, while Lewis Hayes (Compasses) was beaten by Black Bull’s Matt Doe.
Fixtures secretary John Steele (Black Bull) – whose daughters Karen and Lynn made the presentations – did the dominoes double, regaining the singles trophy and, with Bruce Huggett, scoring a first pairs success after a second-leg escape as dramatic as Saunders’ darts triumph.
MEN’S SINGLES – Semi-finals: M Compton (Compasses) bt D Vickers (City FC) 2-1; M Saunders (Black Bull) bt C Cook (Compasses) 2-1. Final: Saunders bt Compton 2-0.
WOMEN’S SINGLES – A Dodd (Chequers) bt J Kochan (Lt Waltham SC) 2-1.
MEN’S PAIRS – Final: T Bamsey & S O’Neil (Lt Waltham SC) bt M Compton & K Griffiths (Compasses) 2-1.
MIXED PAIRS – Final: T Bamsey & K Ketley (Lt Waltham SC) bt G Willsmore & L Hart (Red Beret) 2-1.
WOMEN’S PAIRS – Final: J & L Kochan (Lt Waltham SC) bt H & M Rolfe (City Birds) 2-0.
GUINNESS FOURS – Final: Dog & Partridge bt Lt Waltham SC 2-0.
CAPTAINS’ CUP – Final: D Vickers (City FC) bt M Cain (Dog & Partridge) 2-1.
SECRETARIES’ CUP – Final: M Doe (Black Bull) bt L Hayes (Compasses) 2-0.
LICENSEES’ CUP – Final: A Dodd (Chequers) bt S Richardson (City FC) 2-0.
MIXED LGE – Championship Play-off: Chequers bt Lt Waltham SC 2-1.
DOMINOES SINGLES – Final: J Steele (Black Bull) bt D Laudrum (Chequers) 2-0.
DOMINOES PAIRS – Final: B Huggett & J Steele (Black Bull) bt C Hughes & J Morris (City FC) 2-0.